How To Decorate Your Man During the Festive Season

2014 has certainly been the year of the beard and photographer Stephanie Jarstad has taken this hairy celebration to a whole new level. While supporting Movember she created a project that would continue to highlight men’s health and prostate cancer awareness in the form of DecemBEARD, photographing festively adorned men in all their fuzzy glory. The results are superb.








Like what you see? You can purchase pictures of these bearded lovelies and more from Stephanie’s Etsy store in the form of Christmas cards and poster prints.

What about you guys? Do you decorate your loved ones during the holiday season?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page

Photo Credits: Stephanie Jarstad

The Start of Summer: Christmas in July

When I was a child, the best day of the entire year would be Christmas Day. I would count down the days leading up to it for weeks in advance, growing more and more excited as time passed. The night before, on Christmas Eve, I would be desperate to go to sleep so that I could wake up early, but I was so worked up that I often counted sheep until the early hours of the morning and would wake up every half an hour after that.

As an adult, today is my Christmas Day. It’s the final day of the school year, we said goodbye to the students for six glorious weeks and wished the staff that are leaving the best of luck for the future. And then, in a dignified and mature manner, I shot out of the school like a rat up a drainpipe and joined my friend in the pub.

I’ve worked in the British education system for eight years now, and this has been the toughest academic year I have ever experienced. I like my job, and I’m lucky to work in an excellent school with staff and students that I enjoy spending time with. However, in the last year the changes in curriculum and the growth of the number of courses and students at my school have meant that my workload has almost doubled. In my personal life, I have moved house twice, my elderly cat died, I was in hospital for a week and off work for a further five and another of my cats was diagnosed with diabetes, requiring twice daily injections at 6am and 6pm. It’s been stressful, and I am feeling physically and mentally exhausted.

However, this particular day and the weekend that follows is the one weekend of the year where I do absolutely nothing and don’t feel guilty about it. Of course, I have a mountain of work that needs to be completed over the summer, both in my personal and professional life, but for this one weekend I am going to relax, put my feet up and just breathe.

It’s the best present I could ever wish for.

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog



I’m feeling really tired today, partly because of yesterday’s run and partly due to the fact that I was awake until 1.30am dealing with the insanity that was yesterday’s blogging endeavours. I wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you for the hundreds of messages, comments and emails that I received from you guys – it means a lot and once again demonstrates just how amazing the WordPress community is. I feel very lucky to be a small part of it.

School is almost over for the summer and now the students have done their assessments I was able to sit back and actually enjoy just being in the classroom. It’s a brilliant atmosphere at the minute – some of my students are in disgustingly good moods as they are excited about the holidays ahead and are desperate to share their holiday destinations with everyone.

I’m not going on holiday this year – the cat and the vets bills have seen to that – but I am determined to get away for just a day or two. Here’s where I need your help – do you have any ideas for fun activities/days out/days in that won’t leave me bankrupt?



Image credit:

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What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Whenever I hear this question, I always think of this song. My favourite version is this one, performed by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Zooey uploaded to her YouTube channel in 2011 and it has received millions of views since.

When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, I spent New Year working in a nightclub. I supervised several of the bars and my shift would generally start at 7.00pm and finish at 5.00am the next day. It was hot, loud, ridiculously busy and I absolutely loved it. I got a buzz from the atmosphere, the music and the dancing – it was almost as if I were being paid to have my own little night out.

However, there seemed to be a point in my mid-twenties where my body and mind started to shudder at the thought of leaving the house on New Year’s Eve. For many years, when I was generally single, I developed my own little tradition – I would have a long bath, put on some clean jammies and I would spend the whole evening watching my Sex and the City DVD’s and drinking cheap alcohol until I fell asleep. I have no idea why I was single – surely most men would jump at the chance to spend their evening with a (rather drunk) northern, pyjama wearing numpty???

The Bloke and I haven’t been out for New Year’s Eve during our entire relationship. He doesn’t drink and we both are agreed in the fact that it is too busy, crowded and expensive, with little chance of getting to the bar, finding a seat or managing to get a taxi home, so we generally stay in with a film, the cats and an assortment of snacky treats. I did go to a karaoke party a few years ago, and I had fun, but I returned horribly drunk and spent the rest of the evening vomiting, which isn’t something that I am keen to repeat…

I sound so old…

What are your plans for New Years Eve?

You can also find me on Twitter @Suzie81blog

Three Lessons to Go…


The image doesn’t match, I just thought it was cute…

It’s Friday, it’s payday and it’s the last day of work before Christmas. I’ve sent my cards, given my Secret Santa gift, got my Christmas jumper ready and marked as much as I possibly can. The holidays are just three lessons away and although I’ll spend the majority of it marking and completing data spreadsheets at least I can do so in the comfort of my own home.

Tonight is the staff party, and therefore normal blogging will resume tomorrow, undoubtedly accompanied by an enormous hangover.

Happy Friday!

You can also find me on Twitter @Suzie81blog